By Kerry Hale 

How To Fix a Dripping Showerhead

  • Friday 23rd June 2023
  • 5 minute read

Not only is a dripping showerhead annoying, but it can also waste water if left untreated.

If the leak comes from your shower valve, water could get behind your bathroom walls, causing dry rot, mould and structural issues.

Discover what causes showerhead leaks and learn how to fix the problem in our step-by-step guide and demo video.

Why is my shower head leaking?

Working out why your shower is leaking is often a process of elimination since there are several potential causes of a dripping showerhead. It may need cleaning, as a build-up of dirt, grime and limescale can affect water flow, creating blockages that may result in leaks.

Alternatively, a leaking showerhead could be caused by worn or damaged inner seals. The rubber washers in your shower act as a seal between your showerhead and hose, preventing water from leaking out. Over time, these wear down and water leaks out. Leaks can also be caused by a worn flow cartridge in the shower’s valve. 

How to fix a leaking showerhead

Find out how to fix a leaking showerhead by following these steps.

What you’ll need


  • A toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • A bucket or container to soak the showerhead in
  • A towel or cloth
  • Replacement washers

1. Turn off the water supply

Before you get started, turn off the mains water supply. You may need to lay down a towel or cloth to catch any excess water that drips out of the parts.

2. Clean the showerhead

Remove your showerhead from the hose, then soak it in vinegar for at least 30 minutes. Rinse it with water and use an old toothbrush to remove any stubborn dirt, grime and limescale, paying close attention to the individual nozzles. Rinse it again, then set it aside. 

Learn how to clean and descale your showerhead in our guide.

3. Check for a worn seal

The rubber washer inside the showerhead prevents water from leaking between your showerhead and hose. If it looks worn or damaged, replace it with a new one.

4. Reattach the showerhead and turn on the water

Put your newly-cleaned showerhead back together and reattach it to the hose. Then, turn the water supply back on and run your shower to flush out any remaining dirt and grime from the showerhead.

How to repair a leaking shower mixer valve

If following the steps above hasn’t fixed your leaking showerhead and you have a mixer shower, the flow cartridge could be the issue. Follow these steps to find out how to replace it.

What you’ll need

  • A Philipps screwdriver
  • An adjustable wrench
  • A replacement flow cartridge

1. Turn off the water

Before starting any repairs, find the stop tap or isolation valve and switch off the water supply.

2. Remove the cap

Take off the decorative cover (usually where the hot and cold symbols are), then use the screwdriver to remove the cap from the flow cartridge. Use the adjustable spanner to remove the outer ring, and the cartridge can be unscrewed.

3. Fit the new cartridge

After removing the old cartridge, replace it with a new one, ensuring the three holes are lined up correctly. Hand-tighten the cartridge, then use an adjustable spanner to secure it. Don’t over-tighten the cartridge, as it could damage the thread, causing further leaks.

4. Replace the cap

Screw the cap back into place and replace the cover. Turn the water on to test the showerhead and check for any signs of leaking, including the areas where parts have been replaced.

Troubleshooting tips and advice

Find answers to frequently asked questions about dripping showerheads below.

When to replace a showerhead

If you have tried the steps outlined in this guide, but the showerhead continues leaking, it could be time to replace it. At Mira, we have many different showerheads, so you can easily find a replacement for your bathroom.

Why is my shower leaking from the wall unit?

Showers may leak from the wall unit, especially electric showers. This could be due to several reasons; your shower wall unit’s seal is broken, the soldering between the water inlet pipes and the shower valve is damaged, or an internal part needs replacing (like the flow cartridge).

If you can’t diagnose the problem yourself or need help with repairs, arrange a visit from one of our expert engineers.

Is it safe to use a leaking electric shower?

Electricity and water are a dangerous combination, so you should stop using an electric shower if you notice any leaks. Turn off the shower’s power supply and call a plumber.

Why is my rain shower head leaking?

Blockages caused by limescale build-up are the leading cause of leaking rain shower heads. Find out how to clean rainfall showerheads here.

Looking for more helpful tips to maintain your shower? Explore these related articles:

  • How to unblock a shower drain
  • How to prevent frozen and burst pipes

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